Parks and Recreation – “2017” / “Ron and Jammy”

Season Seven, Episodes One/Two

parks-and-rec-2017

Grade: B+

The premiere to the final season of Parks and Recreation aired last night and even though it continued with its three year jump, everyone is practically the same (or at least trying to go back to being the same). So what kind of mission is Leslie going to have her eye on for the final season? The land that Newport owns is being sold and she desperately wants to turn that into a national park. Sounds good right? The problem that stands in her way is Ron Swanson.

Ron, along with Tom and Donna, have sided with Gryzzl’s bid to build a new campus on Newport’s land and they’re willing to pay $90 million for it. But also in the running is Leslie, who successfully explained how building the Newport National Park will make the name live on for generations to come. It’s a great conflict between money and legend, but I have to say that unless Leslie gets her old team back on her side, then she doesn’t stand a chance. That being said, is there really a doubt in your mind that Leslie won’t eventually get her team back? And is there a doubt that she’ll get that national park built? That takes away from a lot of the plot, but hey this is Parks and Recreation and no matter how predictable it can be, it’s still highly entertaining because no one’s watching it for the drama.

Meanwhile during “Ron and Jammy” we find out that Jam and Tammy are hooking up, and naturally Tammy’s turning Jam into a version of Ron by dressing him up, grooming him a mustache, and force feeding him steak and whiskey. Why should we be interested in Jam? Because he’s the deciding vote on what the council will decide to do with Newport’s land. But to be fair, it was fun watching Jam suffer under the talons of Tammy for most of the episode. Leslie is too kind because I would’ve let him suffer longer, but her kindness did start because she wanted his vote.

As the episode went on, Ron and Leslie teamed up to rid Tammy of Jam’s life, not because they wanted his vote but because it was the right thing to do. It was great seeing Ron and Leslie on the same side, but they resumed their feud once Jam returned to his old self again. Meanwhile, Tom’s an arrogant mogul who is craving a companion and Andy and April are concerned that they’ve discarded their nonchalant, care-free ways and are now a lame married couple who plans their weeks.

What these first two episodes did well was establish where the characters are now and what they want to change about them. It gives us these short story-arcs while Leslie and Ron duke it out some more before they eventually side together and take down the Newport project and build the national park! And then they all live happily ever after! Okay I’m getting ahead of myself.

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